Shares of Westport Fuel Systems (NASDAQ: WPRT) jumped as much as 17.8% in early trading Monday after the company announced two rounds of financing. Shares held solid gains through midday and were up 12.5% at 11:15 p.m. EDT.
Late last week, Westport announced a 15 million euro loan for its Italian subsidiary. The company also got a $10 million term credit facility from Export Development Canada. Finally, convertible notes were refinanced to lower the interest rate paid from 9% to 6.5% and extend the maturity by three years. The convert price was lowered from $1.27 to $1.42 per share. Westport did agree to pay down the debt from $17.5 million to $10 million as part of the deal.
These financial moves are aimed at getting Westport through the current pandemic and to a more sustainable future. The hope is that natural gas and hydrogen demand will pick up by the time this debt comes due.
Westport is serving some potentially high-growth markets in compressed natural gas, liquified natural gas, and hydrogen fuel, but they haven't grown as quickly as hoped and that's left the company with financial losses. Investors are hoping that this financing will provide a runway to a more sustainable financial future, but this has been an up-and-down ride for the stock as the company grows. I wouldn't be surprised if that volatile ride continues, but at least Westport has the funds it needs to make it to the other side of this current crisis, where it may become the growth stock investors hope for.
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